Puneri Paltan entered their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 game on Thursday on the back of two consecutive wins, with the entire team coming together superbly under the leadership of Deepak Hooda. Jaipur Pink Panthers, on the other hand, playing just their second match this season after losing the first, came in with the aim to register their first win. With the top and bottom-placed teams of Zone A featuring in the second last match of the Nagpur leg, the encounter promised to be a cracker by all means.
Manjeet Chhillar won the toss and chose his team’s side of the mat. Two young players from either team Rohit Kumar Choudary and Tushar Patil opened the raids for Pune and Jaipur respectively. The game was intensely fought from the very first minute with both the teams taking their individual reviews in the first three minutes itself, though unsuccessfully. The first do-or-die raid of the match came as late as in the 9th minute for the Paltan, where Rajesh Mondal failed. A series of do-or-die raids and a couple of green cards later, the Paltan were looking in better shape as they had managed to keep Chhillar out of action for more than 7 minutes. However, Jaipur got back their foothold through Jasvir Singh and the solid defence to end the half leading 14-11, with just a lone Paltan player remaining on the other side.
The second half started with the first All-Out of the match as Pune suffered the inevitable. Another series of do-or-die raids followed with two star all-rounders from either team Jaipur’s Chhillar and Pune’s Sandeep Narwal putting their hands up. Narwal picked up a super raid for Pune in the 30th minute to keep his team in the game. Chhillar, meanwhile, pulled a super tackle on Hooda to increase their lead. The Paltan put their foot on the accelerator in the last 5 minutes as they picked up quick points to keep Jaipur’s lead within reach.
It all came down to the last raid of the day, where Narwal had the chance to pull off an upset and win the match for his team but he miscalculated poorly. With two men in the opponent ring, he needed to effect an All-Out to win but he ran back after a single touch point and the match ended at 30-28 in favour of Jaipur. It was a great night for Chhillar as he completed his High 5 and also became the first man ever to cross 200 tackle points in VIVO Pro Kabaddi.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.